2 more NHL players opt for neck guards in wake of Adam Johnson tragedy,
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2 more NHL players opt for neck guards in wake of Adam Johnson tragedy,

The trend of neck guards is growing around the National Hockey League with 2 more players hopping on board.

Jonathan Larivee

The horrifying events that claimed the life of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson last week will likely stay in the minds of members of the hockey community forever and, although the event itself was terrible, it is already leading to positive change in the hockey world.

Some players in the National Hockey League, including Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, have started to wear an additional layer of protection around their necks when stepping out onto the ice in the wake of what happened to Johnson and on Saturday two more names joined that list.

Ottawa Senators forwards Claude Giroux and Josh Norris are the two latest to start sporting a neck guard, with Giroux stating that he's giving it a trial run on Saturday night.

"I just wanted to try it out," said Giroux of the neck guard he wore during Saturday's morning skate. "It doesn’t feel like anything different so I’m going to try it (against Tampa) and see how it goes. It’s just something I decided to do.

"There’s been a little bit of (conversation in the room). I’m sure guys are going to try it and some won’t. I don’t think it should be mandatory, but it’s a decision that every player should think about whether they want to do it not."

It comes as no surprise that players are suddenly feeling more vulnerable after seeing what happened to Johnson, and Norris admitted that his decision to wear the additional protection came in the wake of that incident.

"I’m going to try it. It felt good this morning," Norris said. "I just want to be as safe as I can. I wore one when I was a kid so I don’t see why not.

"I’ve definitely thought about. That was a sad situation that unfolded (in England). It’s something I thought about and I want to give it a try. It was comfortable and I really didn’t notice it at all."

Players in the NHL wearing the neck guards could certainly influence amateur players, and even other pros, to do the same. One can only hope that the legacy Johnson will leave behind will be one that saves the lives of countless other hockey players in the future.